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More Quinn excuses for not signing McPier bill

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

* Gov. Quinn has revealed a new reason for not signing the McCormick Place reform bill

Gov. Pat Quinn took some oblique shots at political insider Jim Reilly Monday as he explained why he remains undecided on whether to sign the McCormick Place overhaul legislation.

The bill would name Reilly, chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority, as trustee, with broad decision-making power to oversee restructuring the Chicago convention center. Quinn said he wanted to be sure the legislation had adequate checks and balances in place. […]

The governor twice cited the scandal at commuter rail agency Metra, which is among several transit agencies overseen by the RTA. Federal authorities are probing the late Metra chief Phil Pagano’s receipt of $475,000 in unauthorized vacation pay.

In making his case for more oversight provisions in the McPier legislation, Quinn said Metra had been run by someone “who Metra thought, and RTA felt, was doing a good job.'’

Quinn also says he’s worried that one or two unions could file a lawsuit

Speaking at an unrelated news conference, Quinn said he wants to make certain other terms of the reform don’t bring on a “cloud of litigation.”

Some McCormick Place unions are opposed to the proposal’s far-reaching changes in work rules. The intent is to lower costs for exhibitors.

But the pressure is ramping up

“Without signing the bill which has passed the House and Senate, I cannot endorse Chicago as the most viable option for the restaurant’s show,” said [Mary Pat Heftman, executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association convention[.

That would be a loss of gigantic proportions.

* Raw video of Quinn

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:01 am:

    Quinn is playing with fire here. He’s holding up shows that WANT to come here. He must really dislike Reilly. That’s not a good enough reason, obviously.

    Not too classy dragging Pagano into it, either.

  2. - cassandra - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    This isn’t the first time Quinn has used fear of lawsuits as an excuse for not taking action to fix something.

    So what if the unions file a lawsuit. They are, I imagine, among the biggest porkers at the McPier trough. Quinn is going to put them on a diet?
    Of course they’ll complain. And if the idea that he’s scared of lawsuits, that’s all they’ll talk about.

  3. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    What’s right for the state ain’t what’s right for PQ - that is increasingly obvious. Fumigate!

  4. - L.S. - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    I used to say to myself “What is Blago’s endgame here” a lot. Turns out he didn’t have one, he was crazed with greed.

    Now I find myself asking the same thing about Quinn. The worst economy in a lifetime and this guy is playing footsie with vetoing a bill that is literally life and death for a major state industry.

    And speaking of life and death, trying to link Jim Reilly with a very recent suicide…nothing but class Gov, nothing but class.

  5. - Anon E. Mouse - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 1:51 pm:

    @ L.S. - Quinn wants the support (read: money) of big labor, so he doesn’t want to take any actions that will piss ‘em off. IMHO a terrible strategy - Brady is far worse for labor, they absolutely will not support him. Meanwhile, his refusal to act will be seen as just another sign he is not fit to govern by those who are legitimately looking at both candidates.

  6. - McCormick worker - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    Reilly IS THE REASON for the fight! The Trades went with George Ryan because he promised to remove this jerk. Remove Reilly and the bill would be signed in a minute. Even the dock workers hated the guy in the mid to late 90’s his name was everywhere on the walls he was a stumbling block even back then.

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:07 pm:

    Mac Worker, stumbling block to what? Bringing in more business? I don’t think so.

    He was a jerk? How so? Little too demanding, perhaps?

    Dude, wake up. All of a sudden, that golden goose is in mortal trouble, the biggest ever.

    What don’t you understand? The big shows say sign the bipartisan bill or we’ll leave. Time to check your upsides and downsides, brother.

  8. - Vote Quimby! - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 4:28 pm:

    ==The big shows say sign the bipartisan bill or we’ll leave==
    I can’t remember a time when it was that blunt, but two shows on record. Sign it!

  9. - KeepSmiling - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 5:06 pm:

    I usually jump on the bus pretty quickly, but it looks to me like the Trib is putting quite a spin on this. Trying to personalize things to make the story more interesting.

    From the article “Quinn said he wanted to be sure the legislation had adequate checks and balances in place.

    “You’ve got to anticipate things that might go wrong, and really evaluate the performance of people at agencies in the past,” he told reporters during a question session that followed an unrelated news conference.

    Asked if he had a specific issue with Reilly, Quinn said, “I just think anytime you have one person running anything, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got accountability.”

    In making his case for more oversight provisions in the McPier legislation, Quinn said Metra had been run by someone “who Metra thought, and RTA felt, was doing a good job.”

    My take from Quinn’s comments is a fairly reasonable concern that the Leaders may be entrusting the McPier czar with too much authority, as Metra did with Pagano.

    Quinn’s further and less articulated message is let’s carefully review Reilly’s performance in past leadership positions. The point to me seems to be to make sure that we’re neither hiring, nor setting up a Metra-like situation, by putting too authority in one person just because we all trust him.

  10. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 6:06 pm:

    Although I like most of legislation in this bill and appreciate what it could accomplish, I don’t think Quinn should be bullied into signing a clearly flawed bill if it does give so much power to one individual without proper oversight.

    Reilly is completley an inside guy whom the boys can count on to take care of them. So what do they do? They write a bill which fixes some of the McPlace problems but makes sure their guy is The Guy in charge to keep one of the most glaring problems alive. Rampant insider corruption feeding their overstuffed bellies.

    Keep the bill, lose Reilly and you might actually have something.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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